Homebrew Sentinel Characters

I got it in my head at some point today that there are some interesting potential rule interactions that exist inside the rules of Warmachine (currently, I can’t think of any widely available options for these interactions but a couple of these can be forced within the game). I started to craft together a jack or two that had some of these interactions and it dawned on me, I could just make these character sentinels! It’s cleaner, I don’t need to muck around deciding what 1 point of defense is and it’s easier for other people to understand if the rule interactions are mounted on something familiar. So onto the rule interactions themselves!

All of these started with the same thought, Shield Guard is a cool rule. What sort of nonsense could models with Shield Guard get into if they had a second rule to synergize with it?

The first one is obvious (and easy to do in Skorne), Carapace. Shield Guard forces the model to suck the hit. If the model has to take the hit, it either should be immune to the hit (which PP tried to head off at the pass) or comically tanky against the hit (so you can shield guard multiple hits). Carapace is a great rule to have with Shield Guard.

This led to another rule that has interesting interactions with arbitrary ranged attacks, Quick Draw. While not worded exactly like it needs to be, it does look like something could be really cool for a model with low armor. Ultimately, I think it would be better served as an individual rule separate from Shield Guard (call it “Interception”, Once per round, when a friendly model within X inches of this model would be hit by an enemy ranged attack, this model may make a ranged attack roll. If the result is higher than the enemy hit roll, that attack is considered to be a miss.). So this is cool alternative to Shield Guard that rewards high RAT instead of high ARM but not fantastically applicable to this project.

As I was chewing on the previous two concepts, another cool idea for a character Sentinel occurred to me. Cygnar has an expensive solo (both in points and dollars) called a “Trench Buster”. Not the most Skornegistic model ever to exist, but a fairly shiny example nonetheless, the Trench Buster blows himself up if he uses Assault (#AoE Guns with Assault). My idea was to apply the “Trench Buster” concept onto a Sentinel. Create a light jack that is focused around making that initial charge into the enemy and perhaps surviving the turn.

Now I had originally planned to create three character Sentinels, one for each thing I mentioned previously…but Interception is just cleaner without a additional rules interaction muddling the water. So without any further rambling on my part, I humbly present Rampage and Vigor (a PDF will be at the bottom of the post for any interested parties). Having said that, it turns out that WordPress hates my formatting so I’ll have to describe them (they have identical hard stats to regular sentinels).

First Rampage. He is bonded to Sturgis! I wanted to have a bond and rather than leave it blank, I picked the most aggressive Cygnar caster without a character jack. Rampage costs 10 points, has Assault, Relentless Charge and Unyielding. Its bond grants Uncontrollable Rage (that special rule Cryx Seethers have that forces them to run or charge for free all the time). The interesting part of Rampage is its weapon loadout. Taking a page from Khador, its shield has a 6”, POW10 spray with the Anatomical precision special rule. This allows Rampage to clear out shield-walled troops while still leaving his spray on the low end of the POW spectrum. Its other weapon is a “Piston Spike” (again, stealing from Khador’s design aesthetic). It is a P+S 13 melee weapon with Critical: Brutal Damage. I wanted to spice this up, make it armor piercing or sustain attack coupled with critical shred…but that’s starting to clutter the card with special rules (and Rampage’s card is already fairly full). That’s about all she wrote for Rampage, onto Vigor!

If Rampage is all about busting trenches and putting the fear of Jacks into shield wall troops, Vigor is all taking Shield Guard shots to the chin and continuing to function. I’m not tremendously happy with the current collection of rules on his card, it achieves my purpose (Carapace on a Shield Guard model) but doesn’t feel that “flavorful”. Anyways, you lot need a summary not rambles so Vigor features Carapace, Shield Guard and Steady. Its weapons are a shield named “Barrier” (P+S:12 and Repel) and the “Boom Tube” a 12”, AoE3, POW12 gun with High Explosive(12). I’m left feeling rather underwhelmed with how Vigor turned out, it works but it isn’t a elegant solution. I’ll probably revisit Vigor at a later date (probably scrapping Carapace in favor of something a little more clever and dynamic). Hopefully I’ll be able to con some poor sole into giving them a spin.

Aforementioned PDF link: (sentinel-character-variants-rampage-and-vigor).

Get it Painted! (Jan 22, 2017)

A model that’s a little newer than my trusted and fully painted Crusader, Acosta. I haven’t had the opportunity and inclination to put him on the table yet (something that I’m looking forward to). I can’t decide if I want to just drop him into a Cygnar list and run him as a utility solo or if I want to build a merc list and actually be able to drop buffs on him. Anyways, this a post about painting, not a post about list strategy.

So I’ve got my red fabrics down to almost a science. I can replicate the techniques over and over (as evidenced on the Knight Exemplars recently and the Temple Flameguard not so recently). I don’t the right hues on hand for doing blue fabrics (or purples) so i had to cheat and do some mixing (something that isn’t advisable for multiple models because it’s difficult to match the color over and over and over). I’m fairly happy with the results but I don’t think I’ll do this again without a properly matched set of blues. Other than that, he’s matched fairly well with my other Cygnar.

January Running Tally
Acosta: 1
Old Crusader!!!: 3
Knight Exemplar Grunts 4+5: 2
Stormguard Captain + Grunt, Captain Finn: 3
Mobius + Bane Warrior Grunt: 3
Knight Exemplar Grunts 2 + 3: 2
Punch Monk: 1
Knight Exemplar Grunt (1/5): 1
Knight Exemplar Captain: 1
Major Beth Maddox: 1
Woldwyrd x2: 4
22/31

Get It Painted! (Jan 18, 2017)

Oh gosh, I’m still behind my goal. Guess there’s no other option but to share another three models today and close that gap! In any attempt to be as distracted and unfocused as possible, today I’ve got more Cygnar models! Namely two Stormguard and one Captain Maxwell Finn!

Now I’m not 100% happy with this color scheme, its fairly dark and the battle to make any details pop means that each model takes a few hours to finish. That being said, I’m getting closer to a final result that I’m happy with. Sharp eyed readers will notice that the Stormguard Captain has a blue butt-cape while the grunt does not. This is because I finished the grunt first and had the impulse to try it on the captain. I like the low amount of visual discord that the blue cloth adds, so I think I’ll do the same for the other eight (and redo grunt #1 at some point). Captain Finn is annoying to assemble and irritating to paint. Not Irusk2 irritating mind, just more annoying than the Stormguards. Probably has something to do with being metal and overhanging the base (I keep rubbing the paint on the edge of his coat off…).

With these, I’m almost caught up! Will I close the gap? Will I fail miserably? Find out next time!

January Running Tally
Stormguard Captain + Grunt, Captain Finn: 3
Mobius + Bane Warrior Grunt: 3
Knight Exemplar Grunts 2 + 3: 2
Punch Monk: 1
Knight Exemplar Grunt (1/5): 1
Knight Exemplar Captain: 1
Major Beth Maddox: 1
Woldwyrd x2: 4
16/31

Get It Painted! (Jan 1, 2017)

So 2016 is done and 2017 is here. This means that brand new models are getting ready to drop! I’m mainly excited for Feora3 and Eye of Truth (no sign of Protectorate’s dual colossal kit yet…) and to get back into prime painting shape and put a dent into my pile of unpainted models, it’s time for another round of “Let’s Get It Painted!”. A brief reminder of the concept, this is a challenge to myself to paint a small based model a day for the entire month. However to keep this challenge manageable, bigger models are worth more bases. Large bases are worth three small based, medium bases are worth two. Basically, this means I could take three days to paint a large model decently and not ruin it by rushing.

To kick this off, I’ve started with Major Beth Maddox! Instead of the traditional swarm blue and gold, I opted for a black and yellow scheme that I think goes quite well onto Cygnar (it was only after I had a few test models painted that I discovered the similarity to the official alternate color scheme Privateer Press had previously published). In a second deviation, I’ve decided that all my Cygnar models will get red hats or hair (I haven’t the faintest idea why). As a bonus and a point of comparison, I’ve got Stryker1 in some of the pictures. He was one of the last models I painted and a decent model to examine to see what amount of skill degradation I suffered.

January Running Tally
Major Beth Maddox: 1
1/31

Unlike last time, I do have about 30 days of models planned out. Some of those include: Stormguard, 2x Woldwyrds, Knights Exemplar, Flamebringers (not all), Warpborn Skinwalkers.

Kraye-zy Train

So I’m back aboard the Kraye train, trying to make this caster work for me. Looking back at my previous attempt, I decided to go all in on the “Trenchers!” in the hopes of creating a list that can operate without caster support. Starting with a 25pt core, it grew into this:

Kraye-zy Trenchers
Kraye
-Grenadier x2
-Ironclad
Min Trenchers
Trencher Cannon
Captain Finn
25pts

The basic idea with this list is to put enough rounds down range that the enemy won’t be able to present a strong presence for scenario or assassination. I have potentially 7 POW 13 shots hurtling towards the enemy with 3d6 damage rolls. All of them also have AoE3 to boot. Finn does what Finn normally does (a Pac-man threat for infantry) and the Ironclad serves to anchor the list. The Trenchers are around to toe into zones, make charges, pop smoke and generally be annoying (they don’t play as smoothly with Grenadiers as I would like due to order of operation issues, smoke and LoS).

The other flavor of Cynergistic Cygnar is the whole “taze the everliving nonsense out everything”. This list is one that might actually be able to leverage Reposition on the Fireflies to get them into strange places and survive (but I’m not sure it beats out a snipe caster).

Kraye-zy Tazers
Kraye
-Firefly x2
-Reliant
Stormsmith Storm Tower x2
Stormblade Infantry
-Gunner
-Gunner
Min Mechanics

I swapped out a Gunner for the mechanics since that better filled the points, buts it’s a personal opinion thing. Basic idea is simple, the Fireflies take their 11” of nonlinear movement and go strange places. Everything else tazes things. I’m leaning pretty heavily on the Gunners and Towers having the output to crack the enemy down with long range POW14/16 shots. Probably the only oddball guy is the Reliant. As the anchor, I need it to charge in and clear zones (something an Ironclad does a bit better) but it sports a gun and can provide some interesting charge defense to lightning immune models (shoot a Firefly, the Firefly backs up, models suck a POW12 if they charge the Firefly).

And no, I’m not sorry about the awful puns.

Gunlines…(part 1)

So I’m mainly a Protectorate player, I love the models, I love the rules, I love how they play on the table but the transition from mkII to mkIII is shepherding in an age of gunlines and spam lists (from what some podcasters are saying, its much like the gunline swarms that were seen at the beginning of mkII). What’s more interesting (to me at least), is the fact that each faction can field a passable gunline of some flavor or another. Most of these gunlines are fairly poor, shrug worthy affairs, but there are two factions that are clearly capable of fielding monstrous gunline armies, Cygnar and Khador.

Now before I dig into the specifics of how each of these factions manages the gunline (and believe me, they’re different), I wanted to touch on a picture that I tripped across recently which detailed a rock-paper-scissors element of warmachine.

Weaponmasters < Heavies < Gunlines < Weaponmasters

This is not an immutable diagram. There are gunlines that can decimate heavies and heavies that can mulch weaponmasters (and let’s not even discuss weaponmasters that reached a gunline). Warmachine is a game that functions well because of “imperfect balance”, the concept that choices have strengths and weaknesses and something that is good against one thing is weak to another. A well designed game can utilize imperfect balance to create a dynamic and fun system (compare warmachine with chess, a game that is perfectly balanced).

So, back to the meat of the matter, Gunlines. There’s two main threats to Protectorate in terms of gunlines, Cygnar and Khador. The basic concept to handle these sorts of lists is the same: Close the distance as quickly as possible. A gunline that is engaged is a gunline that cannot shoot. There are some big differences between these two factions in the specifics of how they throw out their ranged power. I’m going to start with Khador.

Khador

Khador possesses someof the best ranged firepower in the game. It’s long ranged and high powered and can be divided into three main catagories; Jack Based, unit Based and Solo Based.

Khador’s jack based shooting is designed to crack other heavy jack wide open in prepperation for mellee. Jacks such as the Destroyer and Behemoth host the iconic heavy jack ranged weapon, the bombard. Typically shot from a model that sturggles to hit the side of a barn, the Bombard threatens 14 inches down the board with an AoE4, POW14 shot. These weapons find can find a target within most enemy armies and normally will see two or three shots before the jack gets engaged.

Khador’s Unit Based shooting is a little different. There are a few flavors, ranging from POW10 spam, to POW16 jack crackers, but pretty much all of it spells one sort of death or another (I’ll get into more detail in a later post)

Finally, there’s Khador’s solo based shooting. This is a direct contrast to the previous two sections (high range, high POW, low RAT). Khador can boast some of the best precision based firepower in the game. A Khador player can load a list with no fewer than 8 snipers (this includes the unit of Widowakers since they largely function as 4, 2-point solos).

To sum up, Khador has high explosives on their jacks, POW10s and POW16s in their units, and all the sniper solos. The kicker? Almost none of it is magical damage.

Cygnar

With the Age of Cygnar upon us, the swarms of Cygnar gunlines are coming. Cygnar shooting is much harder to qualify and sort into model based catagories, but the big sorting mechanic I’m using is whether the gun is electrical or not. Most of Cygnar shooting lies between POW10 and POW 12. That’s not to say there’s a lack of higher powered options, its just the most common choices are between POW10 and 12. Compared to Khador, Cygnar shooting has the potential to be almost entirely magical (and that is the important distinction between Cygnar gunlines and other gunlines).

So there’s part 1 of a “more than one” part series. More parts as I can be bothered to write them!

tl;dr: There’s magical Cygnar shooting and then everyone else (represented by Khador).